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US to give Egypt $125m for development projects

People walk past a currency exchange shop displaying a giant US dollars banknote in downtown Cairo on November 3, 2016. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
People walk past a currency exchange shop displaying a giant US dollars banknote on November 3, 2016 in Cairo, Egypt [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

USAID and the International Cooperation Ministry has said that the US is giving Egypt seven grants worth $125 million to support education, health and other development projects.

The news comes less than two months after the United States announced that it will withhold $130 million of security assistance to Egypt on account of its human rights violations and detention of 16 American citizens.

Critics said that Washington should have held back the full $300 million it gives to Cairo as there are 60,000 political prisoners in the country who are systematically tortured.

"This half measure sends a muddled message about our commitment to human rights and democracy," Senator Chris Murphy said in a tweet.

Over the last 40 years the US has given Egypt $30 billion and USAID has invested $900 million since former Defence Minister turned President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi rose to power in 2014.

READ: Saudi deposits $3bn into Egypt central bank to help fight coronavirus

This money has been under scrutiny with rights advocates calling on the US to leverage the money on a commitment to improve human rights, rather than giving the repressive Egyptian state a blank cheque to continue abuses.

The announcement comes shortly after Saudi Arabia deposited $3 billion into Egypt's central bank for what it said were efforts to help its post-covid recovery.

The World Bank has also just approved a $360 million development policy financing loan to Egypt for the same reason.

In the past the World Bank has been criticised by Human Rights Watch for (HRW) handing over vast sums of money but not speaking out about the arrest and intimidation of healthcare professionals in Egypt.

Egypt's healthcare system has been on the verge of collapse for several years due to corruption whilst several healthcare professionals have been arrested and detained for challenging the government's official narrative on the death toll and infection rates.

AfricaAsia & AmericasEgyptHRWInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUSWorld Bank
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